Friday, May 09, 2008

What's in your lunch box?

Ever since I started working for a living (what a drag!) I have found that it is very difficult to pack a lunch to work. It's so much easier to buy something from a nearby restaurant than to wake up early and pack myself a lunch. Yes - I realize I could pack myself something the night before, but that requires a level of organization as yet unknown to me. Sometimes, there are dinner leftovers and then lunch is easy ... but even then, there are days in which I don't feel like eating leftovers for lunch. (Wow, I am spoiled.)

So I've been looking around the good old Internet for lunch inspiration. This is made more difficult by the fact that I rarely cook, but let's just see what's out there anyway, shall we? is a great site devoted to the art of bento. I wish I had the wherewithal to prepare such delightful looking lunches. I mean really, take a look at this yummy zarusoba bento! I'm so impressed that this lady takes the time to create such neat lunches for her little kid. Frankly I think that would cause lunchroom envy. I would love to have the creativity and tools to make my own bento box every day.... and yet somehow - I look at the pictures and think, too complicated!

Here's another one: Laptop lunches. The neat and tidy lunch box is quite visually striking to a disorganized soul like me. Although I'm far too old to be carrying a lunch box to work (I usually just grab some sort of bag and throw food in) (aside: the plastic bag = Chinese person's suitcase) the idea of packing a variety of foods in small containers is rather appealing.

Packing a lunch is not only earth-friendly, it's also friendly to the wallet. I tell myself these things every day and yet often I end up buying something for lunch. So I am hereby making a resolution to pack my lunch four times a week (I like to set lofty goals rather than keeping my standards low) and spending less than $20/week on going out for lunches, coffees, and the like. Since buying the new place I am finally stepping into the world of debt (the old place was only in hubby's name) and thus being a good steward of money is more important than ever.

What do you like to have in your lunch?


Jo said...

We've been pretty good. Ever since we had a mortgage :( we've been mostly bringing leftovers for lunches. Sometimes, the Mister would go out for lunch once a week. I'm extremely cheap (it's either bling, greasy cafeteria food, or I have to drive out to buy a lunch), so I always bring food/munchies from home.

For us, it's leftover dinners from the previous night, or a huge salad with some sort of meat on top. When there isn't leftovers (or only enough for the Mister) I just bring a bagel/sandwich, fruits and heat up a can of Chunky's or something. And then there's my favorite food - yogurt and cereal! Woo. Bananas are awesome too (for snacks, not for a real meal).

I sometimes go for coffee (Timmy's or Starsucks) in the morning, but not everyday. But ever since we had a free coffee machine at work (and free espresso cups)... I've been enjoying free coffee at work. Free stuffs are awesome!!

I don't think I've ever spent more than $10 on lunches/coffees/snacks during any work week, yet (unless I go out to eat with coworkers, which doesn't happen alot). I take frugalness to a whole new level :P

Tree said...

D tries to cook more for dinner so that we can pack the leftovers for lunch. If we end up finishing the dinner, I buy from our school's canteen. Chicken teriyaki and pizza are my faves.

Anonymous said...

like other meals, i prefer a hot lunch over a cold one. sometimes i eat leftovers... sometimes i'd panfry some gyozas in advance, and then "ding" them for lunch. when i'm feeling rich, i'd go get sushi at fujiya.

some preschools in japan require the parents to make lunchboxes for their kids. and of course the kids would compare whose bento is the most creative and appealing. i'd assume you guys don't follow such practice in your office =)